Judy Vorfeld, of Peoria, Arizona, is an Internet old-timer who posted her first website in 1996. Her business, Office Support Services, began as a secretarial, DTP, and copyediting service. Today, through her Editing and Writing Services website, she offers copyediting and copywriting, proofing, website analysis and renovation, and social networking support. The site also includes powerful resources for writers and office administrators.
Vorfeld created Webgrammar to provide hundreds of free resources for students, educators, writers, editors, researchers, office administrators, and Web developers.
Vorfeld also publishes an ezine, eCommunication Food for Thought.
Judy, are you a grammar expert?
The word “expert” makes me nervous. Pedestals can be very unstable. I know where to find most answers to grammar and style problems and I love—and have a natural affinity for—language. I’m skilled at editing everyday American English from a number of perspectives because I’ve had experience in business, community service, music, drama, art, writing, photography, and education.
I’ve worked in banking, construction, insurance, a church office, business travel, shipping, and fleet management. And I’m active in human and social services in my community and online as a volunteer.
My strongest gifts lie in my ability to spot creativity, talent, and potential in others…in analyzing the works, writing, and ideas of others…and in troubleshooting the problems and challenges other people and businesses face.
Because of my love of words and the need to express myself I began taking writing lessons in the 1980s. I used everything I learned to be better – in terms of writing – at every job I had.
In the years following my writing lessons, I had about 15 articles published, mostly nonfiction. And I learned that I liked editing even more than writing.
Once I started my own business, everything came together. I had to draw out people in order to write good resumes. Same for brochures and press releases, etc. I got more and more involved in editing as time went by. I apparently have the ability to get a good sense of my clients. I take their words and edit and organize them into what it is that they really want to say.
I said all that to say this: I may not have a degree in English, but I have the ear and the experience to tell when language sounds “right” and when it doesn’t. I can spot a dangling participle as well as the next person. But my real skill is in editing business documents, manuscripts, academic papers and website text. I look at text as the writer’s audience would, then try to make sure it speaks to the readers in the clearest possible way.